Aaron Copland School of Music (Queens College City University of New York) (New York, NY)
Like SUNY Purchase, we have arrived at yet another music school overshadowed by other major musical institutions in NYC.
Quite simply, Aaron Copland School of Music is a hidden gem to discover in New York. One of the finest public music schools in the US, I recommend Aaron Copland School of Music as an alternative for the musician seeking to study in NYC without the burdensome tuition of schools like Juilliard, NYU, etc.
Connected to Queens College, a fine liberal arts college, the Copland School of Music even refers to itself as “the jewel in the crown.” All undergraduate music students go through rigorous academic courses in theory, history, ear-training, sight-singing and performance; students also take private lessons as part of their degree requirements.
Faculty at the Aaron Copland School of Music include: established violinist Daniel Phillips, a gifted musician and teacher at the Copland School, Juilliard, Mannes, and Bard; cellist Marcy Rosen, member of the esteemed Mendelssohn Quartet; and clarinetist Charles Neidich, virtuoso musician often compared to the likes of Richard Stoltzman.
Looking back in time, Aaron Copland was once a haven for modern, avant-garde 20th century composition. Like Mannes, the school was also well-known for its offerings of Schenkerian analysis, a method of looking at music through a modern lens.
While the school does still preserve some of this culture, today the Aaron Copland School of Music is a well-rounded institution with classical and jazz in its curriculum.
Fred Fox School of Music (University of Arizona) (Tucson, AZ)
Despite Fred Fox’s “hidden gem” status in the world of music schools, it has been around since the late 1800’s. With over 300 concerts and recitals each year, performing ensembles touring within and outside the U.S., and internationally known artists on faculty, the Fred Fox School of Music should be a serious contender on any prospective music student’s list.
If you are looking for a school with a large, collegiate campus feel, then the University of Arizona may be perfect for you.
One of the top criteria I recommend students look into is location. I would like Tucson to a western version of Ann Arbor, Ithaca, or any other cool college town. Like an Ann Arbor or Ithaca, Tucson has an extensive array of entertainment & dining options. Tucson, also like Ann Arbor, has an unhealthy obsession with its sports team, the Wildcats.
The school is named as it was recently endowed with a $20,000,000.00 gift from Alan Fox, the entrepreneurial son of Fred Fox, a significant French horn player.
What I like about this school particularly is its approach to collaboration. Being a large, resourceful university, music students frequently work in interdisciplinary settings with dance, art, and theatre.
Fred Fox is an All-Steinway school, ensuring students are provided top-level instrumental resources. The school also includes state-of-the-art film production labs and sound & recording studios. In fact, a recent $2,000,000.00 donation from a Mr. Sheldon Danielson has gone towards enhancing the school’s recording facility.
With noted musician Edward Reid serving as the school’s director, a formidable performer himself, the Fred Fox School of Music boasts one of the top percussion programs in the U.S.
Perhaps most importantly, the students and faculty at the school are excellent. Recently, percussion student Trevor Cameron Barroero performed as a guest percussionist/timpanist with the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. Further, faculty member Carrol McLaughlin is considered one of the top harp professors in the country and has toured extensively as a soloist.
So there you have it, our edition of the top hidden gem schools in 2017. What schools do you think were most deserving? What are some hidden gem schools you would have enjoyed seeing in this list?
Share your thoughts below.